Young people are particularly at risk of infections (including HIV/AIDS) if they practise unsafe sex or inject drugs.
Babies who are breast fed by mothers who are HIV positive or who are involved in the above unsafe practices may also be at risk, as may children who are cared for by someone who is HIV positive failing to minimise the risks of infection transfer.
Support is available for children and young people aged 0-18 years with HIV/AIDS, their carers, and/or expectant mothers, through their own doctor, GU Medicine at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust or Children's Social Care. Support may include:
- HIV testing
- preventative work
- advice and information
- access to HIV support groups.
Expert medical advice should be sought from the child's doctor or a consultant paediatrician when considering whether a child's welfare would be best served by a HIV test. Counselling should be arranged for the child so that the nature of the test and the potential implications of a positive test are fully understood. Consultation should take place with parents and any other person with parental responsibility. They should be given information and access to counselling, so that they can make an informed contribution in the process.
Where a young person is aged 16 years and over, they must give informed consent before the HIV test is undertaken, and this consent must be documented. Any concerns about HIV testing should be referred to the health adviser in GU Medicine at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
All women are offered information about HIV during pregnancy, and can access HIV testing via GU Medicine at Barnsley Hospital. If a mother who is known to be HIV positive insists upon breast feeding, then contact should take place with one of the Assessment Teams in Children's Social Care. Community midwives at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provide the pre and post-natal care in partnership with health visitors.
Children and Young people who are HIV positive or are living with AIDS can access support via Children's Social Care Assessment Teams.
A range of other personnel including school nurses, health promotion specialists, PHSE co-ordinators in schools, social workers and carers are working together to support all children and young people, and prevent them being exposed to risky behaviours which could lead to infection.
Call the Assessment Team on (01226) 772423
Opening times are Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm and Fridays from 9am to 4.30pm
You can also call GU Medicine, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, on (01226) 722599